Tom Brady: ‘Our coaches do a great job of getting to adjustments’
|12.01.13 at 9:38 pm ET|
Texans defensive lineman Antonio Smith might be highly suspicious of New England’s second half adjustments on Sunday, but Tom Brady says it was just about the Patriots coaching staff doing its job and communicating to the offense what needed to be done.
‘I think our coaches do a great job of getting to the adjustments that we need to make because you go through the first half and you don’t produce much at all, and then the coaches come in at half time and they say, ‘OK, well, these are the things that we’re going to have to do to move the ball,’ ” Brady said. “We started with a great drive there to start the third quarter and then scored again, and then scored again, and then scored again, and it was just, it was really a great way for us to play offense.’
The Patriots were down 17-7 at halftime, as the Texans defense allowed only a 23-yard TD strike from Brady to Rob Gronkowski. Brady was 11-of-18 for 108 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Houston was doing a good job of keeping most passes in front of them in the first 30 minutes.
In the second half, Brady was 18-of-23 for 263 yards with a touchdown and a quarterback rating near 125, finishing with a 104.8 rating. Smith might have thought something was up but Brady just thought it was better execution, pure and simple. That, and a healthy dose of resolve when the deck again appeared stacked against them.
‘We’ve got some of that,” Brady said. “I wish we could start fast and put the foot on the gas pedal the whole way, but we just got behind a little bit and played a lot better in the second half. Still have plenty of chances to convert even more, and we’ve got to figure out a way to keep moving the ball, getting the ball in the end zone. But a lot of guys made some really big plays. James Develin and Jules [Julian Edelman], I mean, everyone contributed. Steve [Gostkowski] made some great kicks.’
Brady is looking at the fact the Patriots posted their second straight 34-31 win as a glass half-full scenario, not half-empty, as the playoffs approach in a month.
‘Yeah, I mean, there’s going to be one team that’s happy at the end of the year, that’s just the way it is,” Brady said. “I mean, we’re trying to do our best, trying to go out there and execute the game plan. Certainly it’s not always perfect. But every team has talent, it’s tough to win on the road, and especially getting behind 17-7, you pump a lot of life into them there. It ended up being a dogfight for us, but we found a way to pull it out and I think that’s the most important thing is no matter what the situation, if you’re ahead late, if you’re behind late, you’ve got to figure out a way to win it at the end.’
Here is the remainder of Brady’s postgame press conference from Sunday in Houston:
On what it says about James Develin, who hasn’t had a lot of reps and despite all the different alignments he didn’t have to correct where he was lining up:
‘Yeah, he knows right where to go. He knows his job, his responsibility. He gets lined up and they were matching us with some different personnel groupings. Whatever we’ve asked of him, for example, he’s done a great job of coming in understanding what to do and doing a great job of it.’
On if he saw anything differently in the first half compared to the second:
‘I’ll watch the tape and figure it out, but I mean it’s just ‘¦ whatever we’re doing’s not good enough and we can’t keep getting behind because you’ve got to play too well in the second half to overcome. Turnovers ‘¦ those never help. We did a good job with penalties today, I mean we didn’t get sacked. One of the best fronts in football and to not get sacked, they can really rush the quarterback. We had some good match-ups. We made a lot of plays, we probably had more opportunities to make plays. They’re pretty good in the secondary. Those guys played really hard. It’s a good defense. They’re the number one rated pass defense in the league. Now we have to play our best.’
On if after seeing the way they played in the second half if he’s starting to see what kind of team he has:
‘Yeah, I mean we figured it out a little bit last week too. But it was good to get a win on the road. We talked about that because we’ve lost the last three on the road. Our communication needs to be better, in and out of the huddle. Our execution on critical third downs is important. Really making some clutch plays like we did on defense, that last stop they made, really saved the game for us.’
On the Patriots running backs stepping up:
‘LeGarrette [Blount] ran really hard. Shane [Vereen]’s doing a great job for us coming back off being out for a while. And then Brandon [Bolden] got a lot of touches too so all those guys contributed. We’re going to need them all. That’s one of the strengths of our team. They all can run, they run hard, they usually find the hole, and if we’ve got good numbers, we usually gain pretty good yards.’
On Rob Gronkowski getting open and being able to take advantage of those routes:
‘He made some good plays. The touchdown was a great play, it was kind of an adjustment. He was covered early and then wheeled out of the route and made a great catch. And then the catch in the third quarter to drag those guys down the field was awesome too. He made a great play on a catch and run there. Whenever he gets going, the rest of us get going. I hope he realizes the importance for him to be able to play that kind of style for us. It really helps everyone out.”